Medical Assistant Proficiency Certificate


The goal of the Medical Assistant Proficiency Certificate is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains. Medical assistants are the only allied health professionals specifically trained to work in ambulatory settings, such as physicians' offices, clinics and group practices. As multi-skilled allied health team members, medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical procedures in these settings.

Students gain a basic knowledge of communication skills, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, laboratory procedures, administrative procedures and patient care techniques. These content areas are presented in the classroom, practiced in the laboratory and utilized in a 6-week supervised practicum experience in an ambulatory setting.

Students who complete the proficiency certificate for the Medical Assistant will be able to use these courses to continue their education and obtain an Associate Degree in Health Care Studies.

The Certificate will be offered at the College's Northeast Regional Center.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Medical Assistant Proficiency Certificate, students will be able to:

  • Use effective verbal, non-verbal, and written communication to establish positive working relationships with diverse patient populations and members of the health care team.
  • Display professional and ethical behaviors in a health care setting.
  • Demonstrate quantitative reasoning and critical thinking skills as applied in the health care setting.
  • Use the correct terminology for diseases, symptoms, diagnostic studies, treatments, and surgical procedures.
  • Demonstrate competency in the performance of clinical skills expected for an entry-level medical assistant.
  • Explain and perform basic lab tests to include collecting blood specimens and point of care testing.
  • Perform front office administrative and financial procedures required in a medical setting.
  • Be prepared to enter the workforce as a competent entry-level medical assistant in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains
  • Be prepared to take the credentialing exam for clinical and administrative medical assistants.


Program Entry Requirements:

Admission into the Medical Assistant Proficiency Certificate is selective, competitive, and requires potential students to fulfill all admission requirements of the College.

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for the Medical Assistant proficiency certificate:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Demonstration of readiness for ENGL 101 and FNMT 118 as determined by satisfying placement during the admission process or by successfully completing developmental coursework
  • Applicants with previous college experience must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the start of the Medical Assistant clinical experience.

Applicants new to the College should select the Medical Assistant proficiency certificate as their major when applying to the College.    

Current College students in good academic standing should contact their Academic Advisor about adding the Medical Assistant proficiency certificate program. Current students on academic probation should contact Counseling.

Conditions for Acceptance:

All applicants are notified in writing regarding the admissions decision.  All offers of acceptance are contingent upon successful completion of the following:

  1. All offers of acceptance Acknowledgement of Core Performance Standards for Health Care Career Programs and physical demand analysis.
    1. Students who are registered with the Center on Disability must inform the Department Head if special accommodations are required.
  2. Completion of Criminal Background Check
    1. Conviction of serious and/or violent crimes results in denial of admission into the Medical Assistant Proficiency Certificate Program.
  3. Completion of Child Abuse Clearance
    1. Any record results in denial of admission into the Medical Assistant Proficiency Certificate Program.
  4. Completion of Drug Screening
    1. A positive screening results in denial of admission into the Medical Assistant

Additional conditions for Program commencement include: 

  • Documentation of a complete physical examination, including required laboratory tests. All health information is kept confidential. Students will have direct contact with patients and have the responsibility to maintain very high standards of health practice.
  • Documentation of up to date immunizations prior to clinical assignment. Additional immunizations (e.g., influenza) may be necessary.
  • Documentation of current health insurance coverage, which must be maintained throughout the Program.
  • Attendance at scheduled Program orientation prior to entry.
  • Purchase of MA student uniform.
  • Adult, child, and infant CPR certification for Healthcare Providers (due prior to the commencement of Medical Assistant Practicum).

Disciplinary Action:

Involvement in any incident which resulted in disciplinary action against a student at the Community College of Philadelphia or any post-secondary institution is considered in the admissions process. The Medical Assistant Program reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant who has a documented history of violating College rules and/or regulations or who has been previously suspended or expelled from the College or any other post-secondary educational institution. Students subjected to sanction as a result of violating an academic honor code or suspended or dismissed by an educational program may not qualify for credentialing examinations.


An applicant who believes that an error of fact has been made in terms of the information provided to the decision-making committee can request reconsideration by the committee. This request must be made in writing within 10 days from the date of the letter notifying the applicant of the decision. The reconsideration should address what the applicant considers to be errors of fact. Following reconsideration by the decision-making committee, the applicant can appeal the committee's decision to the Vice President for Academic and Student Success whose decision is final.

Any official change or the initiation of any governmental proceeding affecting the information revealed by the required criminal or child abuse background check must be reported immediately to the MA Program Director.

Additional expenses for students in the proficiency certificate include travel to clinical facilities, purchase of a uniform, laboratory coat, required textbooks, a physical examination, laboratory testing and inoculations.

Dismissal from the Program

The MA program reserves the right to dismiss any student:

  • who fails to observe the regulations of the College and its clinical affiliates;
  • whose general conduct is detrimental to the College and its clinical affiliates; and/or
  • who does not meet the scholastic requirements of the Medical Assistant Program. A student who receives a grade of "D" or lower in any course will be dismissed from the program
Readmission Policy

The MA program is intended to be completed in nine months beginning in September or January of each year. In order to progress through the program, students must complete all curriculum courses with a grade of "C" or better and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Eligible students seeking program readmission must do so within twelve (12) months of program separation. Program readmission is not guaranteed and is dependent upon program capacity and availability. A student must be eligible for readmission according to the College standards. Students who request to be considered for program readmission must meet the current admissions criteria and requirements at the time the request for readmission is placed. Readmitted students must follow the curriculum requirements at the time of their return to the program. A student may only be readmitted to the program once. 

Eligible Students

  • Students who withdraw from the MA program in good academic standing (grade "C" or better in all completed curriculum courses and GPA of 2.5 or higher)
  • Students who are dismissed from the MA program due to a grade "D" or lower in any academiccourse, with a GPA at time of readmission request of 2.5 or higher

Ineligible Students

  • Students who are dismissed from the MA program due to a grade "D" or lower in any clinicalcourse
  • Students who are dismissed from the MA program due to inappropriate conduct and/or violations of the College's academic integrity policy, clinical code of conduct, moral/ethical standards, professional standards, performance standards or accreditation standards    
Process for Readmission Consideration

In order to be considered for program readmission, the applicant must:

  • Meet all current admission guidelines.
  • Submit a written request to the MA Program Director. Request must be received at least three (3) months prior to the expected date of enrollment.
  • Successfully complete a comprehensive written exam as scheduled by the MA Program Director. The exam content will include current material from courses which the student previously completed with a grade "C" or better. 
  • Successfully demonstrate clinical competence through simulation testing as scheduled by the MA Program Director. Competency procedures will be selected based on the course(s) the student has successfully completed with a grade "C" or better.

The results of the written exam and competency testing, as well as the student's prior academic and clinical progress, will be evaluated by faculty to determine the student's potential for success in the Program and semester placement.


Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

Successful completion of the program requires a "C"; grade or better in each of the courses listed.

  • Students in the Medical Assistant Proficiency Certificate may be dropped at any time if, in the opinion of the faculty and Allied Health Department Head, such students are not suited to be medical assistants.
  • Students whose attitude and behavior are considered unprofessional may be dropped from the curriculum, pending a review by the faculty and Department Head.
  • Students may not continue in the Medical Assistant curriculum with a grade of "D" or below in any AH or general education course. 
  • Students dropped from the program because of academic deficiencies will be considered for a second admission to the program after remediation of the deficiencies and recommendation of the Medical Assistant faculty. Students may be readmitted to the program only once. Part-time students must complete the program within five years of their initial enrollment. 


Course Sequence:

Course Number and NamePrerequisitesCredits
AH 103 - Medical Terminology 3 credits
AH 116 - Therapeutic Communication 3 credits
BIOL 108 - Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology* 4 credits
AH 112 - Medical Administrative Procedures  3 credits
AH 113 - Exam Room Procedures IAH 103 and BIOL 108 with a grade of "C" or better, both of which may be taken concurrently3 credits
AH 115 - Exam Room Procedures IIAH 113 with a grade of "C" or better, both of which may be taken concurrently3 credits
MLT 102 - Phlebotomy 4 credits
AH 118 - Professional Skills/Employment SeminarAH 113 and AH 115, all of which may be taken concurrently1 credit
AH 204 - Medical Law and EthicsENGL 1013 credits


*BIOL 108, a one semester course in Anatomy and Physiology is the minimum requirement for this Certificate. However, students who have completed the two semester anatomy and physiology sequence (BIOL 109-BIOL 110) may substitute BIOL 109-110 in place of BIOL 108, provided that they have completed both BIOL 109 and BIOL 110.

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


General Education Requirements:

All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must complete a course substitution request form. To access the form, login to the MyCCP portal, and in the Student tab, under Electronic Forms, click on the Records and Registration Forms link, then choose Request For Course Substitution Of Graduation Requirement link. A more detailed explanation of the College’s general education requirements is also available.

For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Math, Science and Health Careers, Room W1-1, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8430.